Tag Archives: health care

What Happened to That American Exceptionalism? There is None Anymore…

America has been on the decline since Raygun – despite on small moment of high achievement and expectations during the Clinton Administration.

The lang fall into mediocrity in America can be traced directly to the steps of the conservatives in America. Al most every country which is superior to the US in any category has a government and social system which conservatives would call “socialism”. Quite frankly – socialism is kicking our ass.

I am going to start with parts of an article in Fortune Magazine… 12 signs America is on the decline.

1. Median household income

Rank of U.S.: 27th out of 27 high-income countries

Americans may feel like global leaders, but Spain, Cyprus and Qatar all have higher median household incomes than America’s (about $54,000). So does much of Europe and the industrialized world. Per capita median income in the US ($18,700) is also relatively low–and unchanged since 2000. A middle-class Canadian’s income is now higher.

2. Education and skills

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 23 countries

The US ranked near the bottom in a skills survey by theOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which examined European and other developed nations. In its Skills Outlook 2013, the US placed 16th in adult literacy, 21st in adult numeracy out of 23, and 14th in problem-solving. Spots in prestigious US universities are highly sought-after. Yet higher education, once an effective way out of poverty in the US, isn’t anymore – at least not for lower-income and minority students. The authors quote studies showing, for example, that today 80% of white college students attend Barron’s Top 500 schools, while 75% of black and Latino students go to two-year junior colleges or open-admissions (not Top 500) schools. Poor students are also far less likely to complete a degree.

3. Internet speed and access

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 34 countries

Broadband access has become essential for industry to grow and flourish. Yet in the US, penetration is low andspeed relatively slow versus wealthy nations—thought thecost of internet is among the highest ($0.04 per megabit per second in Japan, for example, versus $0.53 in the US). The problem may be too much concentration and too little competition in the industry, the authors suggest.

4. Health

Rank of U.S.: 33rd out of 145 countries

When it comes to its citizens’ health, in countries that are home to at least one million people, the US ranks below many other wealthy countries. More American women also are dying during pregnancy and childbirth, the authors note, quoting a Lancet study. For every 100,000 births in the United States, 18.5 women die. Saudi Arabia and Canada have half that maternal death rate.

5. People living below the poverty line

Rank of U.S.: 36th out of 162 countries, behind Morocco and Albania

Officially, 14.5% of Americans are impoverished — 45.3 million people–according to the latest US Census data.That’s a larger fraction of the population in poverty than Morocco and Albania (though how nations define poverty varies considerably). The elderly have Social Security, with its automatic cost-of-living adjustments, to thank, the authors say, for doing better: Few seniors (one in 10) are poor today versus 50 years ago (when it was one in three). Poverty is also down among African Americans. Now America’s poor are more often in their prime working years, or in households headed by single mothers.

6. Children in poverty

Rank of U.S.: 34th out of 35 countries surveyed

When UNICEF relative poverty – relative to the average in each society—the US ranked at the bottom, above only Romania, even as Americans are, on average, six times richer than Romanians. Children in all of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan fare better.

7. Income inequality

Rank of U.S.: Fourth highest inequality in the world.

The authors argue that the most severe inequality can be found in Chile, Mexico, Turkey — and the US. Citing the Gini coefficient, a common inequality metric, and data from Wall Street Journal/Mercer Human Resource Consulting, they say this inequality slows economic growth, impedes youths’ opportunities, and ultimately threatens the nation’s future (an OECD video explains). Worsening income inequality is also evident in the ratio of averageCEO earnings to average workers’ pay. That ratio went from 24:1 in 1965 to 262:1 in 2005.

8. Prison population

Rank of U.S.: First out of 224 countries

More than 2.2 million Americans are in jail. Only China comes close, the authors write, with about 1.66 million.

9. Life satisfaction

Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 36 countries

The authors note Americans’ happiness score is only middling, according to the OECD Better Life Index. (The index measures how people evaluate their life as a whole rather than their current feelings.) People in New Zealand, Finland, and Israel rate higher in life satisfaction. A UN report had a similar finding.

10. Corruption

Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 175 countries.

Barbados and Luxembourg are ahead of the US when it comes to citizens’ perceptions of corruption. Americans view their country as “somewhat corrupt,” the authors note, according to Transparency International, a Berlin-based nonprofit. In a separate survey of American citizens, many said politicians don’t serve the majority’s interest, but are biased toward corporate lobbyists and the super-rich. “Special interest groups are gradually transforming the United States into an oligarchy,” the authors argue, “concerned only about the needs of the wealthy.”

11. Stability

Rank of U.S.: 20th out of 178 countries.

The Fragile States Index considers factors such as inequality, corruption, and factionalism. The US lags behind Portugal, Slovenia and Iceland.

12. Social progress index

Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 133 countries

A broad measure of social well-being, the index comprises 52 economic indicators such as access to clean water and air, access to advanced education, access to basic knowledge, and safety. Countries surpassing the US include Ireland, the UK, Iceland, and Canada.

“If America’s going to be great again, we’ve got to start fixing things,” Friedman said.

Just for the heck of it, I am going to add a couple more…

Economic Mobility

If you work hard you can achieve”…A poor kid has a better chance of achieving reaching the higher economic levels in other countries. The US lag is getting worse.

The following chart only compares the 27 industrialized countries. The US actually drops to 17th if you include Second World Countries.

Infant Mortality

Your baby has a 2.5 times greater chance of dying prenatal, or postnatal covering the first year of life than in Japan or Finland. For black mothers that is about 4 times greater.

The US ranks 27th of the 27 Industrialized Nations… Comparing it to all nations we are about 40th behind Cuba.

Suicide Rate

America is in the middle of the pack. However the rate of suicides in the US exceeds that of Libya, the Central African Republic, Brazil, and China to name a few. Mental health care in the US is seriously lacking.

Racial Discrimination and Violence Against Minorities (Ethnic or racial)

America is a sad 37th.

Educational Attainment

Guess what guys…America has dropped to 16th.

Face i…This country would be far better off deporting Republicans than Illegal Immigrants.


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Exorcism in Maryland Results in Death of Two Children

Proving that the Tea Party didn’t quite get every nutcase in America elected last term…

And the possible impact of watching one too many Twilight reruns.

This is another datapoint in why we, as a country – need to get a hell of a lot better on access to, and treatment of mental illness in our midst. Up to and including re-establishing long term facilities supporting the poor and middle class. Conservative “saint” Raygun kicked the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street as homeless, and the country has been paying a high toll for that bit of conservative “logic” ever since.

Police: Md. mother kills 2 kids while performing exorcism


GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) — A mother killed two of her own children while performing an exorcism in Germantown, Md., police said.

Montgomery County police have charged two women for murder in the Friday deaths of a 1-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl.

Zakieya Latrice Avery, the mother of the children is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the killings, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, as two other children remain hospitalized after Friday’s attack. Avery, 28, of the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown, is being held without bond.

Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, who was also at the scene, has been released from the hospital and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the two kids and two counts of attempted murder for two children who are still in the hospital. She is also being held without bond.

Police identified the deceased children as Norell N. Harris, a 1-year-old male, and Zyana Z. Harris, a 2-year-old female.

The hospitalized children are identified as Taniya Harris, a 5-year-old female, and Martello Harris, a 8-year-old male.

People have laid down flowers, candles, and teddy bears in front of the home where the two children were killed and the two others were injured. A vigil was held Saturday night to remember the small children who were stabbed to death.

“It’s kind of horrifying for any father, any grandfather,” State’s Attorney John McCarthy said Friday. “These are hard cases,” he said, his voice breaking.

There has been no update on the condition of Taniya or Martello.

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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Van Jones Destroys Tea Party Ted Cruz

Oh My!

This is a whuppin’.

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Great American Rip-Off


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Why Obamacare Is Here to Stay

It is really very simple. The essence of which is captured by the following three images…

The post-Raygun destruction of the American Middle Class not only means a loss in ages. Faced with ballooning medical costs driven by private insurers, companies have shifted payment of health coverage off the “benefits” list and onto the shoulders of the employee. Now, even your average college grad is only one illness away from poverty.


And then – there is Mom…

The biggest non-criminal racket in the world is care for the elderly in the US. Conservatives would have you believe it is “Death Taxes”, which is a crock designed to fool the stupid into believing that the $10,000 a month it will cost you to put Mom or Dad in a senior center is irrelevant. For most of the middle class anymore, there quite simply isn’t any intergenerational wealth being passed on because of this.

Let’s be very clear. There is going to be a war in America on this come next election cycle. It is going to get ugly, when folks wake up and see these images with their mother, their kids, or brother or sister…

Even Tea Bagger hog calls to racism against the black President doesn’t trump mom dying.

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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Domestic terrorism


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History Shows Conservative Objections to Obamacare… Have no Clothes.

This is an absolutely brutal puncturing of the Republican/conservative balloon about Obamacare being un-Constitutional …

What this points out is that the conservative objection to Obamacare isn’t really about the Constitution. The 5 thugs in robes could give a damn about the “Original Intent” of the founders – and are on a path to force the country into a quasi-fascism.

A number of the FOunders, and signatories to the Constitution supported mandates... Including George Washington

Originalist Sin

The five conservative justices on the Supreme Court—Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy—cloak themselves in the myth that they are somehow channeling the wisdom and understanding of the Founding Fathers, the original intent that guided the drafting of the Constitution.  I believe the premise of their argument is itself suspect: It is not clear to me how much weight should be given  to non-textually based intent that is practically impossible to discern more than 200 years later. Most of the issues over which there is constitutional dispute today could not even have been envisioned when the document was drafted.

Even so, it would be an even better response to the conservative wing’s claim of perceived understanding of original intent to be able to refute their claims by showing them to be historically and indisputably wrong.  So once again let’s venture into the world of the health care debate.   The consensus view is that existing Commerce Clause doctrine clearly authorizes the type of mandate passed in the act—see in particular the affirmance of the statute by ultraconservative Judge Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court.

Nonetheless, those opposing the bill insist that an individual mandate has never been done and the framers would simply not permit such an encroachment on liberty and freedom.

Some spectacular historical reporting by Professor Einer Elhauge of Harvard Law School in the New Republic thoroughly rebut the argument. He has found three mandate equivalents passed into law by the early Congresses—in which a significant number of founders served—and reports that these bills were signed into law by none other than Presidents George Washington and John Adams. As Founders go, one might consider them pretty senior in the hierarchy.  Their acts can probably be relied upon to give us a reasonable idea what the Founders intended to be the scope of congressional and governmental power.

Amazingly, the examples of individual mandates passed by the founders are so directly applicable that the claim that original intent precludes affirming the heath care act should become almost laughable:

  • In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founders passed a law requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. Washington signed it into law.
  • In 1792, another law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm. (So much for the argument that Congress can’t force us to participate in commerce.)
  • And in 1798, a Congress with five framers passed a law requiring that all seamen buy hospital insurance for themselves. Adams signed this legislation.

In aggregate, these laws show that the Founders and the Congress of the time were willing to force all of us to participate in a particular act of commence and were comfortable requiring both the owner of a business and the individual employee to buy insurance in order to assure that health costs would be covered at a societal level.  That is a pretty complete rebuttal to all the claims being made by the originalists as they relate to the health care act.

But what is so powerful about these historical finds is not just that they rebut the specific argument about original intent as applied to the health care act. This history lays bare the ahistorical nature of the justices’ claims at another and deeper level. For the types of bill passed in 1790, 1792, and 1798 show the Founders to have been doing exactly what congress did especially well in the era of FDR—–experimenting with solutions and approaches to resolving social issues in ways that made government part of creative problem solving.

These examples show the fallacy and the false rigidity that the originalists seek to impose on our government. In their effort to cabin and restrain the government—their ideology of the moment—they seek to have the benefit of the claim that the founders shared such a limited approach to governing.  In fact, the approach to governing that these acts demonstrate is more nuanced and thoughtful.  As with so many of the claims of the originalists, a slight understanding of the true history shows that the originalists’ view is mere ideology being imposed on a false understanding of history.

I’m categorizing this post under “The New Jim Crow”, because the lack of health care results in the deaths of tens of thousands of black babies due to lack of pre-natal or post-natal care in the first year of life…

Every year in the United States.

Put in any other terms – the lack of Health Care i the US is genocide.


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Anti-Obamacare Litigant Goes Bankrupt – Owing Medical Bills

“Ain’t nobody going to force me to get no healthcare insurance!”

Ain’t nobody going to bail your dumb ass out from going bankrupt either.

I just spent several weeks in 2 Hospitals. The bill for the first one, in which I stayed 3 days was $61,000. That is a formidable bill to have to cover out of pocket.

These dumb arsed Republicans let their racism get in the way of common sense.Indeed they want to screw the whole damn country because Obama is President.

Plaintiff challenging healthcare law went bankrupt – with unpaid medical bills

Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challengingPresident Obama‘s healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,” said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation’s case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.

But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

The central issue before the Supreme Court is whether the government can require people to buy health insurance. Under the law, those who fail to buy insurance after 2014 could face a fine of up to $700.

The business federation, along with other critics of the law, calls the insurance mandate a “threat to individual liberty” that violates the Constitution.

Obama administration lawyers argue that the requirement is justified because everyone, sooner or later, needs healthcare. Those who fail to have insurance are at high risk of running up bills they cannot pay, sticking the rest of society with the cost, they argue. Brown’s situation, they say, is a perfect example of exactly that kind of “uncompensated care that will ultimately be paid by others.”

“This is so ironic,” Jane Perkins, a health law expert in North Carolina, said of Brown’s situation. “It just shows that all Americans inevitably have a need for healthcare. Somebody has paid for her healthcare costs. And she is now among the 62% whose personal bankruptcy was attributable in part to medical bills.”…(more)


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Young Man, Raised By Lesbian Couple – Kicks Hell Out of Iowa Republican Bigots

You have to love the Republican Argument that Obamacare is “the Governmen regulating people’s lives” …

But passing legislation to ban gay marriage isn’t. Tossing aside any moral considerations about whether homosexuality fits or doesn’t fit one’s religious beliefs – for me at least it is the core issue that goes back to the ideological ancestors of the current Republicans institution of anti-miscegenation laws to block people of different races from marrying (laws that weren’t overthrown that long ago in Loving vs. Virginia) now trying to control people by sexual orientation.

The very same people squealing the loudest about the government “controlling their lives”.

Too bad there aren’t any bought judges like Thomas, Scalia, and Alito on the liberal side. It would be downright amusing to see a decision that while the government can’t mandate you have Health Care…It also can’t mandate who you can or can’t marry. Seems to me if it can’t be in your personal life one way – it can’t be in your personal life in another…

Eat that, conservative scum!


Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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